Workers at Spanish airport operator Aena plan to walk out around Christmas and New Year, the CCOO union said this morning, as pay disputes spread in Europe. Other Spanish unions such as UGT and USO said their members will not strike and a spokesperson for Aena said the government-controlled company will keep negotiating with CCOO and seek to reach an agreement with the union by Dec. 22.

Workers affiliated to CCOO plan to strike on Dec. 22, 23, 30 and 31 and on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, the union said, to demand Aena resumes a bonus it suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"During the years of the pandemic, and in an important gesture of responsibility, we have not requested the payment of the bonus," CCOO said in a statement, adding that Aena's traffic numbers were now back to near pre-pandemic levels.

Soaring consumer prices have pushed unions in Spain to press sometimes reluctant employers for pay raises. About 1,000 Inditex shop assistants went on strike on Black Friday and are planning to walk out again on Dec. 23 and Jan. 7. Unlike other European countries, such as Britain, air travellers in Spain were mostly spared airport chaos last summer as Aena's furlough scheme during the pandemic allowed it to retain most of its staff and not have to find new workers.

Staff from Ryanair and IAG's Iberia walked out during the past months, but Spain's minimum service rules limited disruptions.